- File Size: 489 KB
- Print Length: 226 pages
- Publisher: Inknbeans Press (September 13, 2011)
- Publication Date: September 13, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005N0PTT4
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#2,023,288 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #6658 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Historical Fiction > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
- #19834 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Women's Fiction > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Women Sleuths
- #47168 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > Women Sleuths
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Wheezer And the Painted Frog (Mysteries From the Trail of Tears Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
I would like to get the meat of this review out first. This is a five star read that could interest several age groups and interests. The character development is complete and it is easy to like the good ones and hate the bad. It addresses that "skeleton in the closet" that we as Americans seem to like to keep buried. It is one of the darkest secrets that taints the American legacy. The white man's treatment of the First Nation would be looked at today as a good reason to defend the Indian Nation with "Shock and Awe" as we did in Iraq for much the same crimes. What we do instead is turn our heads to avoid the view. Kitty has researched details that we have not heard much about. I think it is common knowledge of the basic facts of the "Trail of Tears" but to hear the numbers and feel the devastation that this caused to an entire culture is shocking. To know that these men of greed and wealth would prey upon them in this weakened state is despicable. To kill or cause the death of women, children, aged and infirm is criminal. The only reason it was not in this time is that it was done by the wealthy and the government. I imagine that if a country was acting this way in today's world we would seek criminal charges and execution of those involved up to and including the highest ranking and the wealthy.
This story is one that we should look to and learn how we should go forward in our lives. Even the young girl, Sasa, learned through her grief and her community what is right and wrong. She did not focus on it and use it as an excuse to live a lesser life. She followed her tradition and customs and made the best of the evil that was put into her life by others.
Wheezer is a dog. In this story he has human like intelligence and morals. There is much to be learned from a simple animal that demonstrates that we have drifted a long way from our own morals on the current of greed and power.
Jackson and his father bring the white man's viewpoint to the story. There are those who got it right. The other white characters are the villains and rightfully so.
The First Nation was mostly peaceful. Their internal wars were generally for survival or territory. The act of removing the basic elements of life from any community and watching them starve, die of illness and in the weather is nothing short of genocide and our government at its highest ranks were guilty of this systematic murder plot against the Indiana Nations. I personally feel ashamed of our country in their lies, fraudulent dealings and lack of human rights that they committed against the First inhabitants of this continent. They had a system called "Counting Coup" The warrior was rewarded for showing bravery simply by touching or striking his enemy in a brave way. It did not require death. Death was a part of war however. I have included a section from "The Encyclopedia of the Great Plains" on the subject.
I believe that our country lost one of the greater opportunities since its existence to learn from the Indian culture. They have a structured lifestyle that includes all things that we strive for but fall short of in our own government. Their environmental intelligence, moral structures, before alcohol was introduced into their midst, and spiritual ideas would greatly reduce the problems that all cultures face today. Indeed much of the family crisis of today is addressed in Native life. The First Nation has not marched or demanded things from the government. They have quietly made do with what they are given. Much is made of slavery in the south. It too is an abomination. The forced removal of peaceful and prosperous Indian communities and the death of so much of their culture was and is a much more heinous situation. There were many ways to come into slavery and not all of them by kidnapping. Even then the goal of slavery was not to obliterate those subjected to this institution. In essence the owner of slaves prospered by keeping the slave healthy and able to work even to have children and propagate their holdings. The First Nation was targeted for annihilation by the White Man and the government with the goal of removing the culture from existence. Those that were not killed were forced on a reservation and into "Missionary Schools" that taught Christianity and forced those that survived to abandon their spiritual beliefs and lifestyle that was judged to be uncivil. The White Man's lifestyle, while proving to be the must uncivil of all, was forced upon them to tame the "savages!" Since most tribes did not write their stories, dances or medicine much of this was lost to their culture and history if there were not a chain of ancestry that passed it forward.
As I study the First Nation and the tribes I find myself wishing that this was the system that we lived under now. Keep writing these stories Kitty, who knows maybe our government officials will read them and learn how we should all act.
A depiction of counting coup
Counting coup, or striking an enemy, was the highest honor earned by warriors participating in the intertribal wars of the Great Plains. Native peoples recognized precise systems of graduated war honors, and usually the greatest exploit was counting coup. Key to a man's success in Plains combat was demonstrating his own courage by proving superiority over his opponent and, in a competitive sense, over his own comrades. Killing was part of war, but showing courage in the process was more important for individual status. This was best accomplished by risking one's life in charging the enemy on foot or horseback to get close enough to touch or strike him with the hand, a weapon, or a "coupstick."
Humiliating the enemy also played a part in this fighting, as illustrated by an account from the Jesuit missionary Father Pierre-Jean De Smet. In De Smet's 1848 visit to the Oglala Lakotas, the Oglala leader Red Fish related to the priest how his men had just suffered a disgraceful defeat at the hands of the Crows. The Crows killed ten Oglalas, then chased the others for a distance. The Crows then were content merely to repeatedly count coup on their enemies with clubs and sticks, thus demonstrating to the Oglalas that they were not worth the ammunition needed to kill them.
Counting coup carried over into the battles against American troops. For example, the Northern Cheyenne warrior Wooden Leg related how, as a young man at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, he and his friend Little Bird chased a soldier across the river, counting coup on him with their whips and grabbing his carbine. They did not kill him, said Wooden Leg, because after counting coup it did not seem particularly brave, and besides, it would waste bullets. Counting coup, then, was the epitome of a type of warfare that pitted the skill and daring of one man against another.
And it did not fail me.
I realize, however, that defining it just a "western" is highly reductive, for "Wheezer" is much more than that, and can be read on different levels, by people with different interest.
It is, first and foremost, a historical book, looking into one of the most sorrowful pages of the Native Americans' history, the "Trail where They Cried", the forced migration of the Cherokee tribe from their native land to the arid Territory of Oklahoma. Kitty Sutton has manage to paint the odyssey, the agony of a people with just a few words here and there, never getting boring (as historical books could be) and always touching the heart of the reader.
Then there is Wheezer himself... any reader who loves animals in general and dogs in particular cannot help but being captivated by this small, extremely clever dog, who's a sort of "deus ex machina" throughout the novel. He's so cute, so brave, so clever, you'll never have enough of him, you'll wish to read more about him.
And the other characters, from Jackson Halley to the little, brave Cherokee girl Sasa, to all the other minor characters, are unforgettable too. Kitty has a way of making them come to life with her words so that the reader can actually "see" them and share their emotions, their despair, their pride, their happiness.
And then there is the "western atmosphere" proper, the landscape, the wide spaces, the forest and the arid plains, all brought to life in such way the reader cannot help but feel transported in another land and in another time.
As I said at the beginning, this book brought me back to the love of my childhood and youth, and I must say that reading Wheezer's story, the Cherokee people story, Sasa's story, captivated me as much as the best novels by Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour managed to do so many years ago.
I definitely recommend reading this book. You'll feel the richer for it
Reviewed by Alex Canton-Dutari
I'm always partial -- positively -- to Native American literature, and hurt throughout the discription of the displacement of this proud group, a voyage which was poignantly described by the author. But I must say that the inclusion of Wheezer, the brave and feisty Jack Russell, was a unique move to maintain the reader identified with the plights in the story. The partnership of Sasa and Wheezer, together with an easy narrative makes this portion of US history food for thought.
Most recent customer reviews
What a great and sad tale to tell.Read more
What an excellent tale from Kitty Sutton.Read more
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